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How to Live with an Alcoholic Spouse

A husband and wife sit angrily on a couch after an argument .
Alcohol abuse impacts every area of life, including your marriage.

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Your relationship isn’t the same anymore. It may have happened quickly or slowly over time. Either way, the result is troubling. It’s not just you and your spouse in the marriage anymore – it’s you, your spouse, and alcohol.

That, of course, creates a host of problems. The impact of alcohol use disorder can be financial, legal, or health related. Or your spouse might simply no longer be there for you and your family.

You may even find yourself covering for your spouse or taking extra caution to make sure that they don’t get into trouble at work or with the law.

Tips for Living with an Alcoholic Spouse

  • Don’t blame yourself. It’s common for someone struggling with alcohol to blame their abuse on their spouse. He or she wouldn’t need to drink if their significant other was more supportive or if life were less stressful. Don’t buy into it.
  • Don’t take it personally. That’s hard to do, especially if your spouse is blaming you. This isn’t about your spouse’s relationship with you. It’s about their relationship with alcohol.
  • Get support for yourself. It can really do a number on both your mind and heart when alcohol enters your marriage. No matter what you may know intellectually, you may have trouble really believing that it’s not your fault. Support and therapy groups are almost necessary at a time like this.
  • Don’t enable. This is easier said than done. Of course you don’t want your spouse to lose their job, embarrass themselves or damage their relationships with family and friends. But by shielding your spouse from the consequences of their actions, you may also be preventing them from recognizing the extent of the problem or getting help.
  • Realize you can’t save your spouse. If your spouse had heart disease or diabetes, you wouldn’t think you could treat it. The same is true with alcohol use disorder. It’s a disease and the best way to address it is with professional help. That’s true with any drug addiction, but it’s especially critical with alcohol addiction. An alcohol detox can be deadly without medical supervision.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

At The Raleigh House in Denver, Colorado, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just get the alcohol out of your system. We work with you to help you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually and socially as well. Rehab isn’t just about giving something up – it’s about getting your life back. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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